Social media and my creativity

Since the beginning of the year and resolving that I would spend less time on my phone in 2017, I've been thinking a lot about the role that social media plays in my life. I've become acutely aware of just how rocky our relationship is. On the one hand, it's a huge part of my business and allows me to work from home whilst I'm studying. On the other, one of my favourite things to use it for is to watch people cutting sand in Instagram videos. It walks a weird and fine line between work and relaxation which can make getting pretty much anything - be it writing a blog post or actually switching off at the end of the day - that little bit more complicated.

Whilst it's great to feel like a tweet-scheduling powerhouse, I do find that the almost constant presence of social media in my life makes grasping hold of rare moments of creative inspiration even more difficult. Being the infuriatingly introspective person that I am, I've given a tonne of thought to why this might be and have pretty much concluded that the reasons are threefold.



If I say a word like "threefold" does my blog sound professional and worthy of your time?

Firstly, I feel like social media is just too damn load whilst I'm trying to get stuff done. As I've mentioned in a few posts before, if I'm in a fragile mood, twitter becomes kind of akin to having hundreds of people shouting their opinions in my face. On a good day it can be stimulating, but on a day when my head already feels foggy it makes it worse. Whilst I think it's great that people have a platform to quickly and easily share their thoughts on everything from Tories to avocado toast, it sometimes makes forming an actual opinion impossible. If I want to write then I desperately need a clear head and social media means that that's rare. And frankly, it's just a bit overwhelming.

Secondly, I feel like social media is one of the reasons that I shy away from embarking on big projects. I'm the kind of person that just wants to get stuff done and out into the world because I'm too excited to hold it in. The problem is, with the option to just chop it up into 140 characters there, I will often use it. Too often I think I have a thought, tweet it and then feel fulfilled and content that I've got it out. I wonder how many novels (or blog posts, at least) I've let slide just because I have the choice to throw my half-formed thoughts into the world. To prove this point: I even considered tweeting this little realisation! It's madness!

Thirdly, probably the one that most people will be able to recognise in themselves: distraction. Social media is the ultimate flow killer. In fact, social media is the ultimate in stopping my flow before it's even begun. It's just too easy to check one of my numerous feeds instead of actually getting started on work. And social media time goes by in a flash, so suddenly it's three hours later and I'm 14 weeks deep in a stranger's Instagram wondering whether I too should embark on creating a cohesive theme in my feed (no, the answer is no). I think that for a lot of us, as soon as something gets difficult or awkward, our natural reaction is to ignore to the best of our abilities via the medium of our phone screens. Pushing past work slumps doesn't even exist anymore because we just stop and check Twitter instead.

Before I press publish on this, I think I should probably clarify that a lot of the time I love social media. I love keeping up with some of my favourite online presences. I love the opportunities it's given me. I love the quality content it provides me with on a daily basis. Think about all of those memes, for god's sake! Since I've found ways to spend less time on it, the time I do spend on it has become a lot more enjoyable and a lot less overwhelming. But I needed to force myself to expand my thoughts about how it can negatively effect my creativity, instead of just putting it into 140 characters. So, here it is.

Look at me taking positive action and shit.


2 comments:

  1. This was such a great post to read. I've become a lot better at taking time away from social platforms, especially if I'm feeling down because it can make me feel worse. But other times, it can be really positive and inspire me. :-)

    Claire | rose-tinted.com

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    1. Thank you, Claire! I totally agree that it can be a really helpful resource, too! xx

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